Mary: January 1558

Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Mary 1553-1558. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1861.

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'Mary: January 1558', Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Mary 1553-1558, (London, 1861), pp. 354-363. British History Online [accessed 13 June 2024].

. "Mary: January 1558", in Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Mary 1553-1558, (London, 1861) 354-363. British History Online, accessed June 13, 2024,

. "Mary: January 1558", Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Mary 1553-1558, (London, 1861). 354-363. British History Online. Web. 13 June 2024,

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January 1558

1557–8. Jan. 1.
9 p. m. Calais.
706. Lord Wentworth to Queen Mary. Having withdrawn the bands from the Causeway last night, and placed them at the bridge and within the Brayes, he returned them early this morning to the Causeway for the purpose of defending that passage in case the enemy should attempt to enter, and also to offer skirmish. Between nine and ten [o'clock] the enemy showed in very great bravery, about six ensigns of foot and some horse, and came from the Chalkpits down the hill towards the Causeway. On this skirmish was offered, but the enemy would in nowise seem to meddle. During this their stillness, however, they caused about 200 harquebusiers to cut over the marsh from Sandgate and get between the English and the bridge with the view of hotly attacking them on both sides. At the same time he ordered the Marshal with the horse to go forth and maintain the skirmish with the foot. When the Marshal came there he discovered the harquebusiers, and suddenly took a very honest retire. This being perceived by the enemy on the land side, they made a hot attack with both horse and foot, receiving from the English divers continued onsets, until the latter came to the bridge and there exposed themselves. The bridge bestowed divers shots upon the enemies, and hurt some, but none of the English were slain or hurt, save a man-at-arms, who was stricken in the leg with aa corrier. This alarm continued till one o'clock in the afternoon, when the numbers of the enemy increased, eleven more ensigns of foot and three troops of horse coming in sight; besides the alarm at that instant went round about the country, from Sandgate to Guisnes, and bands of the army at every passage. They have got Froyton church, and plant themselves at all the straits into their country. The bulwarks of Froyton and Nesle have to day done their duties very well, and he has this afternoon sent them aid of men, shot and powder; but he is in some doubt of Nesle to night. Is assured that the number of the enemy's horse and foot now arrived is above 12,000, of whom few less have come in sight here. The Duke of Guise is hourly expected with more troops. This evening has discovered 500 waggons laden with victual and munitions, and has further intelligence that 30 cannon have left Boulogne hitherwards. They are settled at Sandgate, Gallymote, Causeway, Froyton, Calkwell, Nesle, and Syntrecase. Looks for them at one o'clock after midnight, when it is low water at the passage over the haven. Has set all things in the best order he can, and leaves her Majesty to consider for their speedy succour.
P.S.—Has received her Majesty's letter by the Master of the Ordnance, who came this morning, and will follow its contents as near as he can. [Two pages and a half. Indorsed by Petre. Printed by Lord Hardwicke, "State Papers," Vol. i., p. 107.]
Jan. 1.
Citadel of Gottorp.
707. Adolphus, Duke of Sleswick, to Queen Mary. In consequence of the suspension of commercial intercourse between England and the Hanse Towns, points out various places and ports in his dominions from which the English merchants may be supplied with corn and where they may carry on their trading. [Latin. Seven pages.]
Jan. 2.
708. Queen Mary to Lords Wentworth and Grey. Has now with all expedition sent the Earl of Rutland to aid them with his person and counsel. [Minute. Autograph of Petre. One page and a half.]
Eod. die. 709. Same to Lord Grey. Acknowledges his letters of 31 December; has given orders for an immediate supply of men and provisions. [Minute. Two pages.]
Eod. die. 710. Same to Lord Wentworth. Thanks him for his exertions in defence of the forts and in resisting the enemy. [Minute. One page.]
Jan. 2.
10 p.m. Calais.
711. Lord Wentworth to Queen Mary. Last night the enemy attempted nothing, but kept themselves in the places formerly mentioned, as was perceived by their large fires there. Early this morning sent fresh footmen to the bridge to relieve those who had watched. About 9 a.m. the enemy in very great number approached it, and offered the skirmish, whereupon some of the harquebusiers and bowmen issued forth and kept them in play, with the help of the shot from the bridge, more than an hour; but at last, being overmatched with multitude, they made their retire within the turnpike without loss or hurt. The enemy, shadowing themselves under the turnpike wall with their corriers (which assuredly shoot very great bullets and carry far), kept themselves so secure that the pieces from the bridge could not touch them, until about 11 o'clock some of those within bored holes with augurs through the turnpike, and with harquebuses beat them out into the shot of ordnance, and so made them retire to the Causeway. This forenoon 500 Swiss and French got within the marsh between Froyton and Nesle bulwarks, and those within the bulwarks perceiving themselves surrounded, and not otherwise likely to escape, sallied forth, cut through the enemy right manfully, and saved themselves through the marsh. In the enemy's retire one Cookson, a man-at-arms, and four other soldiers with the countrymen, rescued most part of the booty, which was kine, and took prisoner three of the Captain of Abbeville's band. Hearing of this enterprise of the enemy, and fearing Cobham Hill, appointed the Marshal with the horse and 200 foot to repair thither, and as they should see their match, so to demean themselves. Before they had marched a quarter of a mile the enemy had retired, by reason that wading as they entered up to the girdle stead, and seeing the water increase, they thought fit to make a speedy return. Nevertheless for all their haste they went up to the breast, and if they had tarried a little longer he would have put in so much water as would have put them over head and ears; next tide, God willing, he will take in more. This afternoon they are quiet, and in the meantime the English are occupied in cutting passages to let in more water about the bridge and that part of the marsh, whereby the enemy will have very ill watering. Would also take in the salt water about the town, but cannot do so, as it would infect the water wherewith they brew; yet notwithstanding all he can do their brewers are so behind hand in grinding and otherwise, that this shall be found one of their greatest lacks. Therefore makes all the haste he can therein, and howsoever the matter goes must shortly be forced to let in the salt water. The three men taken to-day are very ragged and ill appointed, and confess that there is great misery in their camp, with great want of money and victuals. They say, and he partly believes it, that their number is 25,000 foot, whereof 10,000 are Swiss and 10,000 horse. The Duke of Guise is with them, and is the only deviser and leader of the enterprise. They also say that a shot from the bridge to the Causeway yesterday struck off the leg of Captain Gondault, the Master of the Camp. Further, that none of their great ordnance is yet come, but is daily expected by sea, being in number 80 pieces, of which 30 are cannon, and which are laden with munition and victuals in 120 vessels, and landed at Boulogne, thence to be transported to Sandgate in smaller vessels, as they have done hitherto with their stores. Had her Majesty's ships been on this shore they might have letted or much hindered these, if not destroussed [pillaged] them, being only small boats. Has now fully discovered their enterprise, and is sure as a man can be that they will first attempt Ruisbank, and that way chiefly assail this town. Thinks they are hovering in the country for their great artillery and also to be masters of the sea; wherefore trusts her Majesty will send all necessaries over with expedition, and give full licence to victuallers. Has written to the King for 300 or 400 Spanish harquebusiers now placed at St. Omer. Is with the Council obliged to put her to some charges in regard to recruits. Dodd is with his band at Ruisbank; the other extraordinaries are at the bridge and in the Brayes. While writing six ensigns of foot and some horse came from Sandgate by the downs in sight of Ruisbank, which town and this bestowed some shots on them. This evening they came to Ruisbank without artillery, apparently intending to assault it with ladders, hurdles, &c. Has received the Council's letter as to the promised aid; fears this may be his last letter, as the enemy will stop his passage, but will do what he can tidely to signify their state. [Six pages. Indorsed by Petre. Printed by Lord Hardwicke, Vol. i., p. 109.]
Jan. 3.
9 p.m. Dover.
712. Henry, Earl of Rutland, to Queen Mary. Arrived here to-day at one o'clock, p.m., and when half-way over met Mr. Kempe in the Sacre coming from Calais. By him was informed that the bank is won, and that they keep the sands in such a way as none can pass in, so that if he should have proceeded he must either have perished or been taken. Wherefore being forced to return hither, as the mariners utterly refused to take him across, he has sent to Calais a boat from Rye with three expert men to search and view by all means whether he can be put in there to-morrow or not. If possible, will not fail to pass with all speed, otherwise will remain here to know her Majesty's pleasure. [One page. Indorsed by Petre.]
Jan. 3. 713. Dionysius Beurræus Wellingius to the Secretary of King Philip. On his return hither yesterday, after full consultation with his fellow Secretary, they think they ought to humour and comply with her Majesty in all things. Wherefore earnestly request him to notify this to his Majesty, and assure him that he will remain here altogether, and not go elsewhere until further orders are received. [Latin. Half a page.]
Jan. 4.
7 p.m. Guisnes.
714. Lord Grey to Queen Mary. The French have won Newnham Bridge, and thereby entered all the low country and the marches between this and Calais. Also Ruisbank, whereby they are masters of that haven. Last night they planted their battery before Calais, and are encamped on St. Peter's heath before it. Is now cut off from all relief from England and Calais, and knows not how to have help of men or victuals. No hope now for Calais except by an immediate power out of England or from his Majesty sufficiently strong to distress them by land and sea, so as to compel them to raise the siege or drive them to greater danger. For lack of men from England will be forced to abandon the town, and remove the soldiers therein for defence of the castle. Has done all that a man wholly unprovided can do, and will not fail to do his duty. Has written by the bearer to his Majesty imploring aid Could very ill have spared this trusty officer, but considering the great importance of his message thought him meet for the purpose Requests her Majesty will credit him fully. [Two pages. Printed by Lord Hardwicke, "State Papers," Vol. i., p. 113, followed by John Highfield's account of the siege and loss of Calais, now apparently not in the State Paper Office.]
Jan. 6.
10 p.m. Dover.
715. The Earl of Rutland, Sir Thomas Gresham, Prior of St. John of Jerusalem, and Sir Henry Jerninghan, to same. Ruisbank, the Herald [William Lambarde, pursuivant extraordinary], who had been sent by the Council to M. de Vendeville, Captain of Gravelines, to learn in what way the Earl of Rutland might, either with power or privately, enter Calais, has returned and brought intelligence that his Majesty has put one Captain Sellyn, known to be a good man of war, with four more into that town; and that the 200 harquebusiers, for whom Lord Wentworth had written to his Majesty when he should have need of them, have come to Gravelines, and have already made an effort to enter the town, but could not accomplish it by reason of the French reiters [retres]. But M. de Vendeville this night expects Count Swassenburg's band of reiters, which when Rutland was in the camp were esteemed the best horsemen which the King had. Also that two Frenchmen somonyers [sommeillers] of M. de Resyrion had been taken, and when examined by M. de Vendeville, one of them said that yesterday his master's cook had gone to see the battery, and on his return said that although the Duke of Guise was very wise and had promised the delivery of the town to the French King on this day, it was as nigh to be delivered as was his master's supper to be served, who had never a broche to lay to the fire. The other said that to-day they intended to lay the battery at the fifth house, and if that did not prevail then they would return home; howbeit all this day they have made a great battery. If it should be her Majesty's pleasure they intend to repair to Gravelines with the power which they have, and so joining with his Majesty's horse to assail the enemy as they may: and in the meantime to send to M. de Vendeville to know the certainty of the King's power and whether they keep their day; as also to desire licence for landing and entertainment for their money, which money and weapons is their present lack and will be no small hindrance to her present service. This requires speedy remedy. The bearer is he who carried the message and brought back these advertisements.
P.S.—Requests that this letter may be shown only to such of the Council as shall keep it secret, as the Lord Warden has not been made privy to it, being absent when it was written. [Two pages and a quarter. Indorsed by Petre.]
Jan. 8.
716. M. Destourmel [Seigneur de Vendeville], Captain of Gravelines, to Queen Mary. Has received her Majesty's two letters desiring him to send assistance to Lord Grey at Guisnes. Has sent M. de Buzincourt with a company of infantry. Hears that the enemy are about to invest Guisnes, and have so much artillery that he fears, unless her Majesty sends greater force to join the King's troops, the place will be in danger. [French. One page.]
Jan. 11. 717. Instructions given by Queen Mary to Sir Walter Mildmay, Knight, Treasurer appointed by her Majesty for the payments to be presently made in her service beyond the seas. He is to receive as expeditiously as may be from the Treasurer and Comptroller of the Mint in the Tower 5,000l. in silver of the new coinage, and such further sums from other persons as shall be appointed to him from time to time. He is to go with this money to Dunkirk by the surest route, and there to pay it in prest to the captains who shall come thither out of England with men, for their expenses until the arrival of the Lieutenant, the Earl of Pembroke, when he shall pay such sums to such persons as shall be appointed by his warrant. He is to take heed that her Majesty be not doublecharged for anything, seeing that some men have already had conduct-money here and at Dover, and he is to inquire of John Skinner, Clerk of the Avenary, and of Valentine Brown what has been paid here and at Dover respectively. He is to remain at Dunkirk, or to remove therefrom during his stay over seas, at the pleasure of the Lieutenant; and shall at the end of his service return home or otherwise as willed by him or her Majesty. He is to have for his diet 26s. 8d. a-day, four clerks at 2s. a-day, and 20 men at 8d. a-day, to count from 9th January last past, with expenses of carriage, transport, and other necessary payments, to be paid out of the treasure in his hands by warrant of these instructions. [Minute, corrected and indorsed by Petre. Four pages.]
Jan. 13.
718. Richard Thaurin to Pierre Forment. After leaving London, had been detained prisoner at Rye for three weeks, and has arrived here deprived of the use of his legs and arms. Has been hospitably entertained by the Bailly of Dieppe, son of the late Nicolas Austin, Comptroller of that town. The bearer, an Italian gentleman of good family at Viterbo, is an accomplished musician, and will communicate much important information as to the affairs of Scotland, England, and Ireland. Desires to be remembered to various friends. [French. Two pages.]
719. The Bailly of Dieppe to same. Refers to the preceding letter. Shall not want for money, and shall receive 100 crowns. [French. Half a page.]
Jan. 15.
720. Christian III., King of Denmark, to Queen Mary. Inclosing the petition of his subject Laurence Johnson, citizen of Copenhagen, for whom he requires full redress. He knows that the piratical incursions made on Norway and other portions of his dominion do not meet with her Majesty's approval, but it is necessary for the sake of peace that such should be repressed. [Latin. Four pages.] Inclosing,
720. I. Lawrence Johnson's petition to his Majesty, Copenhagen, September 27, 1557. He complains that on 22d July last, while sailing to the Fle his vessel was seized by some French from Dieppe, who desired him to steer for that port and sell his freight there, stating that they should take from him whatever Dutch goods they found aboard, paying him, however, for their carriage. Being unable to resist he had to submit, but in the meanwhile, on the 26th, the vessel was retaken by a Belgian, who put him aboard the French ship wherein he was conveyed to Dieppe. On arriving there he proceeded on foot to Calais, where he was credibly informed that his vessel had been a third time captured from the Belgian by William Gryn d Blacknuol [Green of Blackwall?] Captain of the Queen of England's ship Grenehunt [Greyhound ?] and carried to Davern [Dover], where the ship was stripped of its freight and all its furniture— anchor, ropes, and sails,—which were sold, and itself knocked to pieces on the rocks. There being peace between England and Denmark, he had applied for restitution at Dover, but being unsuccessful there went to Lundum [London] and applied to the Council, who detained him six weeks to no purpose. He then personally presented a petition to her Majesty, by whom he was promised redress, but for which he waited eight days in vain. Beseeches permission to make reprisals. The loss to his friends and himself is not less than 1,600 dollars. [Latin. Two pages and a half.]
Jan. 16.
721. Emanuel Philibert, Duke of Savoy, to Queen Mary. Has received her letter of the 11th inst. Will not express the pain which he felt at the loss of Calais, in order to spare her a renewal of the vexation which he considers she must suffer from it. When the news of the siege of that town reached him he left Brussels with intention to aid it. Since this is not possible, as it has pleased God to place it in the hands of the French, he will employ himself to the extent of his power in aiding the Castle of Guisnes, to which end she must hasten the passage of her forces and of the Earl of Pembroke. Has given order for arms and whatever else her troops may require. [French. One page.]
Jan. 18.
722. Queen Mary to Emanuel Philibert, Duke of Savoy. He will have heard from the Earl of Sussex and Sir Thomas Cornwallis, her Comptroller, the great damage done to her ships by the late storm, for which reason she has been unable to send over the army which she had assembled for that purpose. Hearing the King has charged Don Louis de Caravajal to supply the loss with the ships in his charge, has commanded her men to assemble with all diligence, so that the Earl of Rutland, who is entrusted with the charge will, as soon as possible, cross with 5,000 men at the least, who will be ready to embark at latest on the 31st inst. Will cause a larger number to follow with all haste. Requests credence to be given to the bearer, and advice and aid from the Duke in the affair committed to him. [Minute. French. One page.]
Jan. 21.
723. Cardinal Caraffa to Queen Mary. Would willingly, according to desire and duty, have come in person or have sent the Marquis his brother to visit her Majesty if it had been permitted him. Being, however, unable for the present to do so, will partly execute with this letter the duty committed to him by the Pope, sending her the paternal benediction of his Holiness, and presenting her humbly his own service, affection, and respect by the Conte di Feria, with thanks in the name of his Holiness for her affectionate advice and authority interposed in favour of the concord between the Pope and his Majesty, with which his Holiness is every hour more contented and comforted, to the honour and glory of God. Respectfully kisses her hands and prays for all happiness to her. [Italian. One page.]
Jan. 22.
724. Sir Edward Carne to same. Since his letter of the 15th, there has been no innovation here, except that when he wrote that the Pope had decreed in the last Consistory that the Feast of Cathedra Sancti Petri, being the 22d of February, should be solemnized, he has not only set forth the same to be kept solemnly (being the day that St. Peter established his Cathedra at Antioch), but also has solemnized the day of the stablishing of his Cathedra here at Rome, being the 18th of January. And according thereto his Holiness kept it here this year in St. Peter's Church, being present himself, as solemnly as any feast in the year, and thereof has set forth a bull for all other churches to keep it in like manner, a copy of which shall be sent to her Majesty herewith. Yesterday arrived Don Francisco D'Este, brother of the Duke of Ferrara, to speak with his Holiness, but for what purpose cannot as yet learn. Hears that he goes from this to Montalcino, presently occupied by the French. One Thursday night arrived in post the Bishop of Terracina, sent from Cardinal Caraffa with such accounts of his proceedings with his Majesty that the Pope is very well contented withal. That same night a post arrived from the Nuncio at the French Court, who among other things brought a letter giving account of the surrender of Calais on the 7th inst., for which there was such congratulations among the French sect both in and out of the Court that the whole city was full of it yesterday. Her Majesty's friends were as sorry to hear the rumour, and many sent to him to know whether it were true or not. Had replied that he did not believe it, and that it was but the blasting of the French for their vain glory, for it could not be, the place being so strong and so well kept in time of peace, much more in time of war, and that he believed it should never be yielded up by appointment while one man was alive there. Trusts undoubtedly they have it not, and never shall. It is also reported that there has been a skirmish between the Spaniards and the French at Ponte Liciano, about four miles from Parma, but who had the better is not certainly spoken of. [Two pages.]
Jan. 25.
725. The Earl of Rutland and Henry, Lord Abergavenny, to Queen Mary. This morning met one Wingate, dwelling in Cornwall [Cornhill] in London, coming from Dunkirk, who mentioned the heavy news of the loss of Guisnes. Lord Grey abode eight assaults, and the French tofore having won the town did so beat the castle on all sides that he was unable to stand in its defence. Wherefore he fell to this composition with the enemy that all the soldiers should depart with their arms and weapons, himself, his son, and one Lambert remaining prisoners. [One page. Indorsed by Petre.]
Jan. 28.
726. The City of Seville to same. Expressive of their enthusiastic loyalty, which will be more fully set forth by Don Pedro de Guzman, Knight, and 24 of their fellow citizens, sent as a deputation to her Majesty. [Spanish. Broadside.]
Jan. 28.
727. Sir Edward Carne to same. The evil news of the delivering of Calais, which arrived on the 18th, had scarcely been credited by her Majesty's friends, who knew the place to be so strong that they deemed it impregnable, as indeed it was had truth been in it. But they were confirmed on the 26th by tidings from Venice and a post from Cardinal Trivulci to his Holiness, which last stated that the place had been rendered without any battery being laid to it, or defence made, but by appointment of those within it. If so, it is the most abominable treason that ever man heard of and most to be abhorred. It is to be doubted lest those that have committed this treason have other there of like sort; therefore would wish that diligent search might be made to pick them out, for such watch no goodness to either of their Majesties. Beseeches Almighty God that they may be all known, to receive their deservings, and also to conserve their Majesties long to the comfort of all their true and faithful subjects, and to the confusion of their enemies and the enemies of God; for who will not be faithful to God, cannot be faithful to man. The Abbot de Sancta Saluto, who was with him to-day to lament these evil news, showed him that when he was sent to treat for peace and truce between the Emperor and the French King, he was informed by the Ambassador of France then resident, as well as by others of the French Council, that some of the great of her Majesty's subjects worked privily with the French that they should not make peace with the Emperor, for if they did they should lose such friends as they had then in England, and by continuing the war they should have more friends than the Emperor. Does not know whether the Abbot had apprized her Majesty thereof. Such subjects as have friendship to any other realm or Prince than her Majesty wills them to have, should be taken for scelerate persons, not worthy to be on earth. Beseeches his writing may be taken in good part, as he means but good and his duty to their Majesties. If she spares either heretics or traitors she shall but nourish fire in her own house. It is said that the French King has licensed the Pope's nephew to return with great reward and favour. Francisco D'Este is daily in secret with the Pope and the Duke of Paliano; the matter of their conference is unknown, and the King's friends here do not like to see him so much made of in the Court.
P.S.—Sends herewith copy of the capitulations of Calais sent to the Pope. (Missing.) [Seven pages.]
728. "For the winning of Calais."—1. 5,000 men are required to be landed at Sandgate, and 5,000 at the Newland.
2. Those landed at Sandgate shall cut through the sandhills to admit the sea, and with the earth excavated make such a trench that no enemy shall annoy them; and then shall march to Ruisbank, which is of small force.
3. Those landed at the Newland, aided by 500 horse and 1,000 harquebusiers of his Majesty, at their landing shall march by St. Peter's church direct to Newnham Bridge, where by opening the sluices they shall so lay the country under water that no aid, either of horse or foot, can come to Calais save by boats, which by good watch may easily be prevented.
4. For furtherance of this enterprise the Oye, Hennawen, and Graveline sluices may be drawn up to let the water in.
5. At the Newland, where the men shall land, it is two fathoms water at low mark, and sufficient for the harbour of 20 ships, and the landing of provisions and military stores.
6. The trench made at the Sandgate will protect the men from the enemy.
7. During this enterprise the sea to be kept by some reasonable number of ships. [One page.]